Mother wants her autistic son home from psychiatric institution|
YSTRAD MYNACH, Wales: A mother is appealing to health chiefs to let her autistic son come home from the psychiatric institution where he has been since March.
Mrs Jacqueline Payne says that staff at the private Maesydderwyn nursing home in Ystrad Mynach consider that Michael Payne, aged 20, is too dangerous to be allowed home.
But Jacqueline, who is 55, from Tylorstown, but currently staying with a cousin in Porth, is angry that he cannot be released to her. She says that Michael, her only child, suffers from autism and a condition which causes abnormal development of the body.
Jacqueline said: "They say he isn't well. They say he is dangerous - but when you see him, he isn't. I want him to come home and so does he, and he can't understand why they are holding him. I wouldn't have to 'lose it' (her temper) if they'd listened to what I had to say. I don't want to take them to court, because I know I will never win."
Michael's troubles began in 2001, when he suffered a physical and nervous breakdown and attacked the family dog with a knife.
Due to his autism, Michael has learning difficulties and the mentqal age of a child of eight. He is a former pupil at Ysgol Hen Felin in Ystrad, He also has Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder, which affects one in 2,500 children, and has, in Michael's case, an effect on his heart and the muscles in his face.
After the breakdown five years ago, Michael was transferred to St John's House Hospital in Norfolk before coming back to Wales.
Jacqueline is firmly convinced that doctors didn't take enough notice of her son's condition before the breakdown. She said: "They said I was looking for something that wasn't there. He said: 'Nobody is going to help me, are they, mum?'
"As time went on, he started getting worse. I was going back and forth to social services in Tonypandy saying there there was something wrong with him."
His mother says she is finding it hard to keep up her fight to get Michael back to the Rhondda.
She said: "I visit him every fortnight and phone him every night at 9pm. I can't go on like this and I have got to make them understand."
In response, a Rhondda Local Health Board (LHB) spokesperson sad: "It is the LHB's policy not to comment on individual patients. However, if the family would like to approach the LHB, we are happy to discuss their concerns. Rhondda Cynon Taf LHB, along with other LHBs in Wales, commission placements for individuals with highly specialist complex needs from a range of providers, often in the independent sector. When trying to find appropriate services to meet an individual's needs, we will look for provision as close to home as possible."
(Source: Rhondda Leader, November 2, 2006)